by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 31st, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher (BEA)
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Goodreads
There is a name I think you should know and that name is Katie McGarry. If you haven’t heard of her before-don’t worry. Starting tomorrow, I am sure her name will become very popular in the YA world. Why? Katie wrote a book called Pushing the Limits... and it’s amazing!
Pushing the Limits is told from the point-of-view of both of the main characters, Echo and Noah. I am always hesitant with stories that switch from one point-of-view to another but Katie’s writing made it effortless. I was always excited to start the next chapter, regardless of whether it was told by Echo or Noah. Each of their stories captured my attention and my heart; each so lovely and heartbreaking.
For me, I always seem to relate to the girl in a story. Which only makes sense being that I am a female. However, even if you take away the gender factor, I still related with Echo to such a high degree. Echo goes through an experience that is life changing, effecting everything from thereon out. I also went through an experience that changed everything for me and I found her story to resonate with me. I connected with her, I felt what she felt, and I sympathized with her, but-ultimately-I wanted to see her find herself...for real. And taking that journey with her was plausible due to the writing of Katie McGarry.
The other half that makes up Pushing the Limits is Noah Hutchins. To put it plainly and simply, Noah is hot; simple he is not. He is struggling with his own demons, trying to find his “normal” again (something that ultimately brings Noah and Echo together), but in the end he is a teenage boy that has been dealt some serious hands in life. Noah grapples for a solid emotional strength and clings to a physical strength to fight his vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, those vulnerabilities are what captured my heart. He is loving and protective with his brothers and when Echo and Noah find each other, he is loving and protective of her. (I’ll say it now, I love that in a guy.) However, he’s not perfect and once again Katie McGarry wrote a character that you want to take a journey with. A lovable character. A believable character. How a female can write a male character-and make him so convincingly real-is beyond me.
Echo and Noah, although the main focus in the book, are not alone. There is their counselor, Mrs. Collins, who is intriguing in a simple way. Echo’s family (and friends), who each have their own faults and who each have their own reaction to Echo’s past. There are Noah’s brothers and the memory of Noah’s parents, which provoke both the good and the bad in Noah, and bring about bittersweet moments. All the emotions of the supporting characters are individual-showing that everyone does deal differently in life-and I love that.
Pushing the Limits is an amazing contemporary that will resonate with both guys and girls. It's a book that does "push the limits", where you experience a range of emotions with the characters (the mystification, the heartbreak, the determination, the feeling of loss, the feeling of wanting to know the truth and not know at the same time, and the trials of love). In other words, Pushing the Limits is a genuine bundle of talent, in which Katie McGarry gives you a second row viewing of how tragedy and consequences effect each person and how they differ, and most importantly-how love can penetrate and overcome them.
Disclosure: I received an Advance Reader Copy of Pushing the Limits from the publisher via Book Expo America. I was in no way compensated (monetary or otherwise) for my review and was not influenced by anyone other than myself and my own opinions.